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New Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence expands gas turbine research

The Ohio State University is accelerating its investigation of jet engines and gas turbines, thanks to a collaboration with aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. A multi-year agreement will establish the Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence in the Gas Turbine Laboratory, located at Ohio State's Aerospace Research Center.

The center’s activities will begin with the development of an innovative high-temperature rig in which turbine engine blade tip rub experiments can be conducted. Turbine blades operate within a structured casing in the engine—required minimal clearance between the two poses a risk for the blade’s tip rubbing on the casing, resulting in potential performance degradation or even system failure.

“Ohio State’s Gas Turbine Lab has a great deal of expertise in blade tip rub research,” said Kiran D’Souza, assistant professor and principal investigator of the center. “We’re proud to partner with Pratt & Whitney to investigate solutions to this industry-wide issue.”

Assistant Professor Randy Mathison, co-principal investigator, further described the center’s research initiatives. “The goal of the center is to develop a better understanding of blade tip rub dynamics and material characterization at design-speed and engine-relevant temperatures.”

Professor Emeritus Mike Dunn, also a co-principal investigator with the center, brings over 50 years of gas turbine expertise to the research initiatives.

The new center joins the department’s Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence in Gearbox Technology, housed in the Gear and Power Transmission Research Laboratory.

Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence kick-off meetingAt Aerospace Research Center's Large Spin Pit Facility, (left to right, back row from Pratt & Whitney) Drew Lancaster, Haiyun Li, John Virtue, Graham Philbrick, Agnieszka Wusatowska-Sarnek, Tom Kasprow, Andrew Boyne, John DiTomasso and Samuel Slingluff with (front row from Ohio State) Mike Dunn, Randy Mathison, Aditya Kulkarni and Kiran D'Souza